Charitable foundations funded by credit card companies and managed by their executives are pouring millions of dollars into liberal advocacy organizations, tax filings show.

The American Express Foundation and the Visa Foundation, philanthropic arms of two of the largest credit card companies in the world, gave grants to several major left-wing groups between 2019 and 2021. Executives from Visa and American Express sit on the boards of their respective foundations, both of which have taken millions from the corporations that established them.

Of the 14 individuals listed on the Visa Foundation’s most recent tax filing as “officers, directors, trustees [or] foundation managers,” all but three are executives at Visa Inc.

The American Express Foundation is subject to a similar degree of corporate control. All but one individual listed among the foundation’s leadership in its most recent tax filing serve as executives for American Express.

The Visa and American Express’ foundations have received millions of dollars from their corporate parents.

American Express gave its foundation $67.9 million between 2019 and 2021.

The Visa Foundation, which was founded in 2017, received an initial endowment of $191.6 million worth of Visa stock from Visa Europe Services. The following year, the foundation received an additional $195.3 million in Square stock from Visa International.

Tax filings don’t show Visa Foundation receiving funding from Visa or any of its subsidiaries since 2018.

The Visa Foundation gave the Tides Center $300,000 in 2020 to fund VC Include, one of Tides Center’s projects that was created “to accelerate investment into historically underrepresented emerging managers—women, Black, Latinx, Indigenous and LGBTQ—to drive economic growth through the power of diversity.”

The Tides Center provides fiscal sponsorship services to an array of liberal groups, including some pushing for racial justice reforms and President Biden’s environmental agenda.

Several groups sponsored by the Tides Center have been heavily involved in pro-Palestinian activism following the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks in Israel, at times justifying Hamas’ rape and murder of Israeli civilians, the Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported.

The American Express Foundation also sent funds to the Tides Center, donating $150,000 to the nonprofit between 2019 and 2021. Of the money the American Express Foundation donated to the Tides Center, $50,000 was for “general support,” $50,000 was for a project of the Tides Center called Leaderspring, which seeks to “transform the systems in which we work by centering racial equity and inclusion as 21st century leadership competencies,” and the final $50,000 was given for undisclosed reasons.

The Visa Foundation gave $500,000 to the New Venture Fund between 2019 and 2020 for a project called the Tipping Point Fund, which makes grant to left-of-center groups, according to Influence Watch. The New Venture Fund, alongside several other major left-wing nonprofits, is managed by Arabella Advisors.

The attorney general of the District of Columbia subpoenaed the New Venture Fund and Arabella in relation to allegations that the New Venture Fund violated the law by dictating the partisan activities of Secure Democracy, a group that pushed for expanded mail-in voting in 2020 and 2021.

The American Express Foundation has a program where it will match the charitable donations of American Express employees under certain conditions. Hundreds of small dollar donations are included on the foundation’s tax forms, though it is unclear if these are employee gift matches or not.

The American Express Foundation lists over $121,000 in donations to Planned Parenthood chapters across the country for the purpose of providing “general support” between 2019 and 2021. Planned Parenthood performed 374,155 abortions between 2021 and 2022, according to its most recent annual report.

The National Network of Abortion Funds, a group that supports 100 abortion funds that “offer logistical support [or] provide financial assistance” to women seeking abortions, received $3,150 for “general support” from the American Express Foundation between 2019 and 2021.

The New York Women’s Foundation, which bills itself as “a platform for women (cis and trans), non-binary and gender-expansive people, and a force for change,” received $400,000 from the American Express Foundation for “developing leaders.” The group “invests in community-rooted organizations and coalitions working to expand equitable abortion and birth control access, birth justice, bodily autonomy, gender-affirming healthcare, informed consent, and resisting family separation.”

“When women, non-binary, and gender-expansive people are able to make informed decisions about their health, access abortion and contraceptives, and receive gender-affirming healthcare, they are better able to advocate on behalf of themselves and their communities,” according to the New York Women’s Foundation.

The Chicago Foundation for Women, a group that “focuses on the issues that affect all women, girls, trans, and gender nonbinary people” by doing things like funding groups that provide or otherwise facilitate abortions, got $125,000 from the American Express Foundation, also for “developing leaders.”

Left-wing groups like the Anti-Defamation League, The Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) received tens of thousands of dollars from the American Express Foundation for “general support.”

The ACLU, chapters of which received roughly $40,000 from the American Express Foundation between 2019 and 2021, has sued to protect the rights of transgender prostitutes to give people HIV, fought to allow biological males to use female restrooms in public schools and sought to block bans on child sex changes, among other things.

The Southern Poverty Law Center labeled a parents rights group as a hate organization in June and the Anti-Defamation League engaged in a years-long campaign to get Tucker Carlson fired from Fox News.

 

The Visa Foundation also poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into several DEI initiatives.

The Visa Foundation paid $100,000 to support “the GenderSmart Investing Summit and the Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (JEDI) Initiative,” $1.5 million on “increasing small business resiliency for women entrepreneurs of color,” $400,000 on “gender diverse farmer cooperatives in India” and $50,000 on a “working group for corporate foundations committed to racial and gender equity investing working group for corporate foundations committed to racial and gender equity investing.”

Other beneficiaries include PolicyLink, a group supported by the Visa Foundation that describes itself as “a national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity.”

Visa and American Express did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

Robert Schmad on November 20, 2023

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